A US House of Representatives committee released a damn report on the development of Boeing’s 737 MAX on Wednesday. Not only will the American aircraft manufacturer be defeated, the American aviation authority FAA will also suffer. “Boeing did not design or develop the MAX, and the FAA did not monitor Boeing or certify the aircraft,” she concluded.
The 250-page report was created after an 18-month investigation by the Transport and Infrastructure Committee. It is based on hearings with more than 20 witnesses, around 600,000 pages of documents from Boeing and the FAA, including information from whistleblowers and interviews with dozens of current and former employees.
“Our report reveals disturbing revelations about how Boeing – under pressure to compete with Airbus (its main European competitor, ed.) And generate profits for Wall Street – has escaped FAA oversight and withheld important information from pilots . and finally aircraft put into service, killing 346 innocent people, ”said Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio in a press release. “What is particularly upset is how Boeing and the FAA played with public safety in the critical period between the two accidents.”
Operating system problem
The 737 MAX was Boeing’s best-selling aircraft until two planes crashed in close succession in late 2018 and early 2019. This was due to problems with the control system and in particular the MCAS safety system, which was supposed to ensure that the aircraft did not climb too steeply.
However, according to the Commission, the accidents were not the result of a single mistake. “They were the terrible accumulation of a number of flawed technical assumptions by Boeing engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing’s board of directors, and grossly inadequate oversight by the FAA.”
Regarding MCAS, the researchers accuse Boeing of withholding “important information” from the FAA. And many pilots were not even aware of the existence of MCAS, it is said. The manual for the crew members contained nothing. However, Boeing assumed that the pilots could intervene if something went wrong. In a preliminary report released in March, the committee had already fought Boeing and the FAA. She then spoke of a “fundamentally defective and unsafe” aircraft.
Boeing said in a statement that as a company, it has learned “hard lessons” from the accidents and mistakes that have been made. “As can be seen from this report, we have fundamentally changed our business and continue to seek ways to improve.”
The FAA has announced that it will work with representatives of the people “to implement improvements highlighted in the report”. The aviation authority also says it is focused on “promoting general aviation safety by improving our organization, processes and culture”.
The 737 MAX aircraft ceased worldwide a few days after the second crash last March. Boeing is working with the authorities to get the model back to flight. The European Aviation Authority EASA conducted test flights with the 737 MAX in Canada last week.